The WESTERN RESERVE encompassed approx. 3.3 million acres of land in what is now northeastern Ohio. Bounded on the north by Lake Erie, on the east by Pennsylvania, it extended 120 mi. westward. On the south, the Reserve's line was set at 41 degrees north latitude, running just south of the present cities of Youngstown, Akron, and Willard. The state of Connecticut exempted the land from 41 degrees to as far north as 42 degrees 2 minutes (western extensions of its own boundaries) when it ceded its western claims to the U.S. in 1786. In its 1662 royal charter, Connecticut's boundaries were established as extending "from sea-to-sea" across North America; royal grants also had created New York and Pennsylvania, both of which intruded on Connecticut's lands. In the 1750s, a group of Connecticut speculators began to sell lands in the Wyoming Valley near present-day Wilkes-Barre, PA. In 1782, under the Articles of Confederation, a federal court determined that the Wyoming lands belonged to Pennsylvania. At the same time, Congress was encouraging states that claimed western lands to cede them so that it could regulate their sale and governance. Following the example of Virginia's cession in 1784, which had exempted lands promised to war veterans, Connecticut reserved lands roughly equal in dimension to the Wyoming Valley lands from her cession. Congress took 2 years before reluctantly accepting the Connecticut cession, and then only because the Pennsylvania delegation championed Connecticut's offer. It is assumed that threats to reopen the Wyoming Valley case motivated Pennsylvania's support of Connecticut.
Connecticut ceded to the U.S. all her western lands claims, except the area of the Reserve, on 14 Sept. 1786. Indian title to the lands east of the